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Our Andalusian Adventure

Our Andalusian Adventure is me trying to let you into our journey from the UK to a small village in the mountains, myself Danni, Paul, our two daughters Olivia and Chloe and our pets Ted the staffie and Duke and Duchess our cats.

Our first Christmas in Spain
25 January 2019

Sorry for the long delay in blogs, i decided to have December off. So we go back to the end of November now.

The following week started with the most hurrendous gusts of wind hitting the village, it was pretty scary walking down the stairs in the morning to find the front door lock had been broken because of it!  This wasn't the only damage the inner courtyard roof had been broken and blown off! Out in the garden the wire fence had also been damaged by it and causing the concrete base to crack. Walking to school that morning was also a challenge i wouldn't want to repeat. Anyway, it gave us the get up and go to fix the door and give it a much needed makeover. We managed to find the same lock to replace it easily and then as it's the house's original wooden door we gave it a lick of paint and it looks so much better. While I was at it I also did the window frames too a huge improvement to the front of the house, now we just need to paint the front of the house as i don't want to let the street down..... Luckily the wind only lasted for one day apparently it can last alot longer here, the following day was like a Spring day lovely warm day with lots of sunshine. After getting all of our jobs done we treated ourselves to a walk up the mountain, with 'up' being the operative word. We really wanted to find the best walks from our village rather than driving to another village. We think we have found a goody even though i was absolutely shattered!! The weather was perfect and for all of the 453m climb we were in the shade. The flora and fauna was abundant and the path mostly untouched. 

On the Friday evening we went to the first Malaga Christmas light switch on of 2018, we were all amazed and stunned by the beauty and great atmosphere. It reminded us alot of Disneyland, once the show was finished we found a little gem of a Tapa bar with delicious culinary delights. 

We were back in Malaga the week after to collect Paul's parents from the airport, as it was a bank holiday and a sunny day here we thought we would go to the beach beforehand, not the best idea we have had as it was so busy and parking was a nightmare, we had about an hour on the beach before Derek and Joy were calling us to say they we collecting their cases. We now know not to do that again. 

Paul's parents were here to celebrate Olivia's 11th birthday with us, the actual birthday itself was quite a sad one for me with it really hitting home that all her friends were not here and doubt started to set in my mind. Her friends sent cards and lovely messages via social media which made me and Olivia weep. Luckily after school it was great weather so we (my mum and Rob, Derek and Joy, Chloe, Flor -Olivia's friend and us) went down to the coast and went Go-Karting smiley when we got there of course the adults wanted to have a go too. Myself, Rob and Paul attempted it after the children's turn, for me it was quite tricky especially as i struggled to reach the pedals!! It was really difficult to turn the steering wheel too I enjoyed it though not as much as the men who of course got really competitive and ended up crashing half way through surprise this did not do Pauls' neck any good and he spent the rest of the evening not being able to turn his neck fully. We ended the evening at a great Pizza place and we did the birthday cake and sang. After a sad start to the day it finished with us all on a high.

As we got closer to Christmas we had the last three days of school taken up with various performances by the girls classes, breakfast at school, Carols and the three wise men. It was nice to go in and be involved even though we didn't understand it! 

For Christmas Day we decided to stay at home and cook. My Mum and Rob would join us for two days from the coast. Being boring and typical English we wanted a Turkey so i thought i'll support the local village shop and ordered the bird in Spanish well in advance. The lovely shop owner told me to collect on the Sunday before Christmas. So on that Sunday off I went to collect it albeit apprehensively. When i asked for the Turkey she looked confused, once the penny dropped she said come back tomorrow. A worryingly twenty four hours later we collected a fantastic Turkey exactly what we asked for and very reasonably priced. Now i could relax and enjoy the festivities. We were blessed with a gorgeous sunny day and even ate our delicious meal outside. We all had a really lovely first Christmas in Spain.

The following week we had the dreaded task of taking the car for its ITV inspection (same as a MOT in UK) we booked the appointment several weeks before online and felt fairly confident we had done this sucessfully. With the girls being off school we all went to the ITV appointment which is nothing like the UK you have centres dotted around Spain where you go and the cars go through a series of checks on a conveyor belt like system. When we arrived we checked in for our appointment and waited but once we were called over to the desk we discovered that Toyota hadn't given us the registration document for the car and without this they cannot carry out the inspection. Angry and frustrated we called the Salesman at Toyota and he calmly said 'oh yes you need that document, it might be at the office'! He did not get why we were fussing, we drove straight to Toyota and waited for him to return from lunch. He did have the document and sadly the saga worsened the actual date the ITV ran out was October not December which was what was stated on our paperwork!! In light of this news we told them how unhappy we were and that we wanted a courtesy car until the ITV was updated and the car was legal to drive. Thankfully they agreed straight away and that stress was taken off us.

One of the things we continue to love is the generosity of the people and the fantastic local fresh produce. In the field next door to our garden they grow various fruit including oranges, the lovely Antonio maintains it and regulary throws fruit over the fence to us. This time he asked Paul to go round (a bit more civilised) and collect a crate full of oranges which are used for juicing. Chloe loved squashing and squeezing the fruit to create a lovely orange juice for us all.

New Years Eve was soon upon us and one of our local restaurants had asked me to help out for the evening. They promised me it wouldn't be too bad as they were doing a set menu which they had pre ordered and they had wine on the table so for me being behind the bar it should be ok. I agreed to work the only thing worrying me was the language barrier. Luckily on the night the clientel were 50% English and 50% Spanish and like they said most of the orders came through the owner and she speaks very good English. I enjoyed the night and Paul and the girls came along to see in the New Year with me and have a dance at the disco. And of course we all had fun trying to cram twelve very big grapes into our mouths at midnight!



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